If you haven’t been paying attention to the internet lately, you’re likely out of the loop on the major court documents that have been leaked to the public. These documents were from Microsoft during their case with the FTC. As a quick recap, the FTC case featured the government body trying to stop Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard. They felt, not unlike Sony that the move would help “monopolize” certain parts of the gaming industry and give the Xbox brand an unfair advantage. Microsoft was able to pull off the win, but then this leak came out, and it’s not exactly the best look for the company.
Why is that? Many of these leaked documents talked about various insider information that Microsoft gave the courts to help prove that they were “desperate to grow” while also proving they wouldn’t monopolize everything. Naturally, when the documents were leaked, people started to wonder who leaked them, and many felt it was the FTC who did it as a kind of “revenge move” for losing the case. However, a member of the FTC posted on Twitter a court order that noted that it was Microsoft who helped these documents get leaked:
Apparently, the company uploaded the documents to the court in a non-redacted form and didn’t take them back later on. That meant that they could be leaked out without issue and without redactions. The word “oops” comes to mind here. Thanks to these documents, we know how far Xbox Game Pass was willing to go to try and get day-one titles onto the service, including $300 million for a certain Jedi-focused title.
We also know that Phil Spencer had many thoughts on how to grow their gaming brand and was in a frenzy in 2022 to try and fix the “gaping hole” in their gaming lineup due to delays. The one that most people are talking about, however, is the desire by Spencer to acquire Nintendo. He felt it would be a “career highlight” to be able to purchase Nintendo while also stating that it would help ensure their Xbox brand would “remain consumer relevant” going forward.
If you’re curious as to why that didn’t happen, it’s because they couldn’t buy out Nintendo given the success of the Nintendo Switch and the “big pile of cash” they were sitting on thanks to it and other ventures.
The reason all that is curious is that Microsoft said they weren’t going to “monopolize” the market, and yet Phil Spencer said he wants to buy one of the biggest competitors.